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Managerial Economics & Business Strategy

Chapter 5
The Production Process and Costs

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Overview
I. Production Analysis

Total Product, Marginal Product, Average Product Isoquants Isocosts Cost Minimization
Total Cost, Variable Cost, Fixed Costs Cubic Cost Function Cost Relations

II. Cost Analysis


III. Multi-Product Cost Functions


Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Production Analysis
Production Function

Q = F(K,L) The maximum amount of output that can be produced with K units of capital and L units of labor.

Short-Run vs. Long-Run Decisions Fixed vs. Variable Inputs

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Total Product
Cobb-Douglas Production Function Example: Q = F(K,L) = K.5 L.5

K is fixed at 16 units. Short run production function:

Q = (16).5 L.5 = 4 L.5

Production when 100 units of labor are used?

Q = 4 (100).5 = 4(10) = 40 units

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Marginal Product of Labor


MPL = DQ/DL Measures the output produced by the last worker. Slope of the production function

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Average Product of Labor


APL = Q/L Measures the output of an average worker.

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Stages of Production

Increasing Marginal Returns

Diminishing Marginal Returns

Negative Marginal Returns

Q=F(K,L)

MP

AP L

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Isoquant
The combinations of inputs (K, L) that yield the producer the same level of output. The shape of an isoquant reflects the ease with which a producer can substitute among inputs while maintaining the same level of output.

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Linear Isoquants
Capital and labor are perfect substitutes
K

Increasing Output

Q1

Q2

Q3

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Leontief Isoquants
Capital and labor are perfect complements Capital and labor are used in fixed-proportions
K Q1

Q3
Q2

Increasing Output

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Cobb-Douglas Isoquants
Inputs are not perfectly substitutable Diminishing marginal rate of technical substitution Most production processes have isoquants of this shape
K
Q2 Q1 Q3 Increasing Output

L
Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Isocost
The combinations of inputs that cost the producer the same amount of money For given input prices, isocosts farther from the origin are associated with higher costs. Changes in input prices change the slope of the isocost line
K

C0 K

C1

New Isocost Line for a decrease in the wage (price of labor).

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Cost Minimization
Marginal product per dollar spent should be equal for all inputs:
MPL MPK w r

Expressed differently
MRTSKL w r

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Cost Minimization
K
Point of Cost Minimization

Slope of Isocost = Slope of Isoquant

L
Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Cost Analysis
Types of Costs

Fixed costs (FC) Variable costs (VC) Total costs (TC) Sunk costs

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Total and Variable Costs


C(Q): Minimum total cost $ of producing alternative levels of output: C(Q) = VC + FC VC(Q): Costs that vary with output
C(Q) = VC + FC VC(Q)

FC

FC: Costs that do not vary with output


Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Fixed and Sunk Costs


$ FC: Costs that do not change as output changes
C(Q) = VC + FC VC(Q)

Sunk Cost: A cost that is forever lost after it has been paid

FC

Q
Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Some Definitions
Average Total Cost ATC = AVC + AFC ATC = C(Q)/Q Average Variable Cost AVC = VC(Q)/Q Average Fixed Cost AFC = FC/Q Marginal Cost MC = DC/DQ
Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

MC

ATC AVC

AFC

Fixed Cost
Q0(ATC-AVC)

= Q0 AFC = Q0(FC/ Q0) = FC

MC
ATC

AVC

ATC AFC AVC Q

Fixed Cost

Q0
Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Variable Cost
$
Q0AVC = Q0[VC(Q0)/ Q0] = VC(Q0)

MC

ATC
AVC

AVC Variable Cost Q0


Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Total Cost
Q0ATC

MC

= Q0[C(Q0)/ Q0] = C(Q0)

ATC
AVC

ATC Total Cost

Q0
Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Economies of Scale
$

LRAC

Economies of Scale

Diseconomies of Scale Output

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Cubic Cost Function


C(Q) = f + a Q + b Q2 + cQ3 Marginal Cost?

Memorize:

MC(Q) = a + 2bQ + 3cQ2

Calculus:

dC/dQ = a + 2bQ + 3cQ2

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

An Example

Total Cost: C(Q) = 10 + Q + Q2 Variable cost function: VC(Q) = Q + Q2 Variable cost of producing 2 units: VC(2) = 2 + (2)2 = 6 Fixed costs: FC = 10 Marginal cost function: MC(Q) = 1 + 2Q Marginal cost of producing 2 units: MC(2) = 1 + 2(2) = 5
Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Multi-Product Cost Function


C(Q1, Q2): Cost of producing two outputs jointly

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Economies of Scope
C(Q1, Q2) < C(Q1, 0) + C(0, Q2) It is cheaper to produce the two outputs jointly instead of separately. Examples?

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Cost Complementarity
The marginal cost of producing good 1 declines as more of good two is produced:

DMC1/DQ2 < 0.
Examples?

Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

Quadratic Multi-Product Cost Function


C(Q1, Q2) = f + aQ1Q2 + (Q1 )2 + (Q2 )2 MC1(Q1, Q2) = aQ2 + 2Q1 MC2(Q1, Q2) = aQ1 + 2Q2 Cost complementarity: a < 0 Economies of scope: f > aQ1Q2 C(Q1 ,0) + C(0, Q2 ) = f + (Q1 )2 + f + (Q2)2 C(Q1, Q2) = f + aQ1Q2 + (Q1 )2 + (Q2 )2 f > aQ1Q2: Joint production is cheaper
Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003

A Numerical Example:
C(Q1, Q2) = 90 - 2Q1Q2 + (Q1 )2 + (Q2 )2 Cost Complementarity? Yes, since a = -2 < 0 MC1(Q1, Q2) = -2Q2 + 2Q1 Economies of Scope? Yes, since 90 > -2Q1Q2 Implications for Merger?
Michael R. Baye, Managerial Economics and Business Strategy, 4e. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. , 2003